Priyanka Mary Francis, Deputy Commissioner, said on Friday that the administration would try to convince fishermen and local people about the project of Blue Flag certification for Padubidri beach with the help of the local MLA, Lalaji R. Mendon.

The Padubidri beach in Udupi district was chosen by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for a major facelift at a cost of Rs. 8 crore under its Beach Management Services (BEAMS) Scheme.

The Ministry has chosen one beach each in 13 coastal States and Union Territories under the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) plan and decided to set up one pilot beach for setting up infrastructure facilities under the scheme. The objective is to get Blue Flag certification for Padubidri beach to attract international tourists. However, about two weeks ago, when an official team held a meeting it met opposition from the people and fishermen.

Ms. Francis told
The Hindu
that it was necessary to highlight the advantages of the scheme properly to the people. Since the people had not understood the project properly, the administration had briefed the Kaup MLA, Mr. Mendon about the project.

“We are taking Mr. Mendon’s help to convince the people in Padubidri about the project. Mr. Mendon is expected to call for a meeting with the people residing near the beach in Padubidri shortly and discuss the matter with them,” she said. The officers had held some meetings with the people in Padubidri on this issue earlier also, Ms. Francis added.

Meanwhile, Damayanti Amin, president of the Padubidri Gram Panchayat, told
The Hindu
that the officers should not have started survey work for the project without taking the local people into confidence.

“It was when they saw the survey being done without consultation, they became suspicious and doubtful,” she said. “The people and the youth want development. The local youth have to get jobs. They should not always migrate to other places in search of jobs. But people should be taken into confidence on such projects,” she added.

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